Yoga apparel company Lululemon Athletica Inc has more than doubled its first quarter profit as sales soared 75%, but lowered its full year earnings outlook on the cost of rolling out new stores.

For the 13 weeks to 4 May, net income was $8.5m or $0.12 per share, compared to $3.5m or $0.05 per share a year earlier.

Net revenue increased 75% to $78.2m from $44.8m. Sales at company-owned stores soared 86% to $70.6m from $38.0m, with comparable-store sales up 28%.

Gross profit as a percentage of net revenue increased 260 basis points to 53.1% of net revenue, from 50.5% of net revenue in the first quarter of fiscal 2007.

Robert Meers, Lululemon's CEO said: "We are pleased with the continued momentum of our business through the first quarter despite the overall consumer environment.

"The investments into our systems and people position us well to gain market share as we continue to expand our store base in the United States and migrate into ecommerce next year."

The company said it now expects diluted earnings per share for the fiscal year to be $0.68-$0.71, down on previous guidance of $0.70-$0.72.

Its forecast is based on anticipated comparable store sales growth of low teens, and 35 planned new store openings in North America.

"The lower earnings outlook is primarily a result of incremental hires and other strategic initiatives," the company said.